Saturday, July 21, 2007 Uxbridge, Massachusetts

General Alarm (10+) For The Bernat Mills In Uxbridge

On July 21,2007 around 04:00am Uxbridge Firefighters responded to 19 Depot St the "Bernat Mill Complex" for A Box alarm with reported smoke in the building.Arriving companies investigated a heavy smoke condition and a second alarm was transmitted while crews were engaged in an interior attack, North Smithfield tanker 1 along with other mutual aid from Northbridge and Hopedale responded. Heavy smoke was visible from the center of the 1000x1000 2,3 & 4 story brick,wood and metal clad complex as daylight broke. Command ordered all members to evacuate the building as heavy fire broke through the roof. Maydays were transmitted for 3 injured firefighters inside, moments later they were lead from the building to awaiting EMS units, who were staged on scene. The 3 firefighters were transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Uxbridge Ladder 1, Northbridge Ladder 1, Blackstone Ladder 1, and Douglas Ladder 1 set up ladder pipes on 2 sides of the building and multiple deck guns and master streams were utilized. Crews also drafted from 3 locations on the river near the mill to maintain a water supply. 3 District 7 Structural task forces, a Strike team, and a Foam Task force from Bristol and Norfolk Counties responded to the 10+ Alarm fire.At one point crews in the A/B corner were faced with 2 massive explosions ignited by a 60,000 gallon tank of cooking oil. Worcester Tower 3 and Ladder 1 arrived and set up and flowed water from ladder pipes. Framingham and Marlborough Ladder companies set up and staged on side 1 of the medal clad portion of the building. Crews also set up ladder pipes adjacent to town hall and the fire station to prevent extension to residential and commercial structures in the downtown area. Heavy smoke could be seen for miles as the 65 businesses that occupy the mill burned.Eventually 45+ departments would respond from Massachusetts and Rhode Island to contain the fire to the large mill building.Crews will be on scene throughout the weekend knocking down pockets of fire and investigating its cause.This is the second fire for the town of Uxbridge in about a week.
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